Foreclosure-related sales fall locally


Foreclosure-related home sales in the Toledo area fell 11.5 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared with last year, according to figures released today by RealtyTrac, a California real estate data firm.

RealtyTrac found 602 such sales in the local area in the first three months of the year, down from 680 in the first quarter last year. The area includes Lucas, Wood, Ottawa, and Fulton counties.

The average sales price of $55,062 was about 5 percent lower than last year.

Nationwide, foreclosure-related sales plummeted 22 percent in the first quarter, according to RealtyTrac. The U.S. average price of a property in foreclosure was 30 percent below the average price of nonforeclosure property in the first quarter.

Toledo-area properties not in foreclosure that sold as short sales in the first quarter were up 3 percent from a year earlier to 683.

Nationally, short sales were down 35 percent from the first quarter of 2012.

“We expected foreclosure-related sales to be lower, given the downward trend in new foreclosure activity nationwide over the past 2½ years, but the decrease in nonforeclosure short sales was a bit of surprise given the 11 million homeowners nationwide still underwater,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

“Rising home prices in many markets are stunting the continued growth of short sales by reducing incentive for both underwater homeowners and lenders," he added.

“Underwater homeowners may be willing to stick it out a few more months or even years in the hope that they will be able to walk away with money at the closing table and without a hit to their credit rating, and for lenders, a failed short sale may no longer translate into bigger losses down the road.”

— Chip Towns